A Celebration of Life

Lauren Mathews, Morphia Scarlett, Janie Bruen, Dorothy Wilson and Lydia M. Harris
Lauren Mathews, Morphia Scarlett, Janie Bruen, Dorothy Wilson and Lydia M. Harris

On Saturday, August 11, 2018 a “Celebration of Life” event was held to honor the 80th birthday of Mrs. Janie Baker Bruen. Two hundred family members and friends gathered at Carey Hilliard’s Restaurant Banquet Facility to share a memorable afternoon of testimonials, fellowship, good food and dancing. An array of speakers eloquently expressed memories from the past as well as their love for Mrs. Bruen and the impact she has made on their lives and the lives of others in the community. The tributes were filled with humor and her longtime contributions and service to her church and a number of local educational, civic, social and sororal organizations. The theme for the afternoon was “Eighty and Elegant” and the guests were “elegantly” dressed in white outfits, with the ladies adorned in colorful fascinators. The beautiful room decorations were provided by Mrs. Sandra Clark.

Despite the coming together to celebrate, the real significance of the event was the decision made by Mrs. Bruen to provide assistance to others. She is a three-time cancer survivor, breast cancer twice and a seven-year Multiple Myeloma (MM) survivor who had the stem cell transplant at Emory University in Atlanta, GA on August 9, 2011. In lieu of personal birthday gifts, Janie made a bold and selfless request that guests make donations to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) or The Bone Marrow Foundation (BMF), both of which MM is associated. To her amazement and delight, a combined total of $6,880 in donations was received for the two organizations. Janie’s prayer is that the generous contributions of the guests be used for innovative research “into better treatment and cures” and provide assistance to patients and families in need.


On August 29, 2018, Mrs. Bruen presented $3,825 to Mrs. Morphia Scarlett and Ms. Lauren Mathews at the Curtis & Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute on the campus of Memorial Health University Medical Center. Mrs. Scarlett is the Oncology Resource Liaison for the Institute and Ms. Mathews is the Campaign Manager for Light the Night. The date for the presentation was significant as it marked the kickoff for Light the Night. The funds ($3055) designated for The Bone Marrow Foundation have been mailed to that organization in New York City. Ms. Dorothy B. Wilson served as the Mistress of Ceremonies and Ms. Lydia M. Harris was the Coordinator of the event.

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